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FCPX imports and exports low quality

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Vesko Urukov
FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 2:14:19 pm

Hello,

I'm having trouble exporting quality video from FCPX. I have great, sharp Full HD source footage, but the moment I import it into FCPX 10.2.3 for editing the quality degrades significantly. I don't want to use proxy or optimized media, but FCPX is not giving me an option. Exporting a master file is even worse than the imported footage. How can I just work native and preserve the original quality?


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Nick Toth
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 3:33:31 pm

The issue is not with FCP X. More info is needed before anyone can help you. What format is going in, what are your project settings, what format are you exporting to? You don't have to use proxy or optimized footage. Those are preference settings.


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Vesko Urukov
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 3:42:28 pm

Thank you for your answer.

I'm importing 1920 x 1080, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Color profile: HD (1-1-1)


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Nick Toth
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 3:45:37 pm

Pro Res is native to FCP X. What comes out should not look any different than what goes in. What are your project settings?


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Vesko Urukov
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 3:44:19 pm

Thank you for your answer.

I'm importing 1920 x 1080 | 25p Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Timecode
Color profile: HD (1-1-1)

My project settings are:
1080p HD 1920 x 1080 | 25p


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Nick Toth
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 4:18:02 pm

How are you determining the quality of the video? What are you viewing it on? From what you have said so far there should be no problem. Some screenshots might be helpful.


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Vesko Urukov
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 4:42:02 pm

screenshot2016-05-06at7.40.53pm.png


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Nick Toth
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 4:48:03 pm

Is the viewer in FCP X set to Better Quality or Better Performance? You say your exports are low quality. What format are you exporting too? I see the difference. Where is the screen grab coming from?


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Vesko Urukov
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 6:38:12 pm

The screen capture on the left is from the original file played in the finder and the image on the right is exported as source from FCPX


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Vesko Urukov
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 7:19:29 pm

YES! Thank you! That was the problem!

I don't understand why the viewer would determine the export options??? Until i switched to better quality, I was not able to exports as non-proxy source...


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Nick Toth
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 7:25:54 pm

[Vesko Urukov] "
I don't understand why the viewer would determine the export options??? Until i switched to better quality, I was not able to exports as non-proxy source...
"


It doesn't really. But there is the choice for original/optimized or proxy there. I think it's a weird place for it. I never have to use proxy anyway so I've never had to deal with it.


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Vesko Urukov
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 7:37:34 pm

Yes, I switched that too. I guess that was the one that did the trick. Thank you very much, sir!


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Nick Toth
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 8:03:01 pm

Glad to help!


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 5:11:34 pm

Version.
I suspect that lke many of us coming to X from other NLE approaches, you don't yet understand the nature of how The program actually functions.
Initial import does nothing but create pointers to what will become calculated "pools" of footage. To let you get to work instantly, X creates instant "OK for now" low Rez reference files that might not be high quality depending on the shooting format and codec you used. This is by design. Why? Because often getting started making your editing decisions FAST might be important. So you can edit in X nearly instantly because while the background file processing to render out the footage in high quality, the program can capture all your editing decisions as metadata in a separate file. As the high quality transcoding engine inside X imports, you elect what mezannine codecs like Optimized or Proxy files to have X place in separate footage pool buckets. Only when all this transcoding is complete, can you switch the pointers between the footage pools and stream video out in any resolution you need from original to proxy with the flip of a switch.
If you stop at any stage, select a range of your storyline, and do a test output, you can see the full quality you are working with. Also, parking your play head on a frame, even if the underlying footage is unrendered - will calculate a still monitor image at full quality.
X is not what you are used to. Until you learn its nature, just be patient and the magic of its approach will reveal itself to you over time.

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Vesko Urukov
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 6:41:14 pm

OK, Thank you! I think I now understand they the footage looks low res during the editing process, but why does the exported file (exported as source) look low res?


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Joe Marler
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 8:26:27 pm

[Vesko Urukov] "I think I now understand they the footage looks low res during the editing process, but why does the exported file (exported as source) look low res?"

This is a logical question and many people before you have asked the same thing. Intuitively when you select Media>Proxy in the VIEWER, you interpret that to affect only the viewer not file export characteristics. However it does literally say "Media", so you are actually selecting proxy media vs original for all operations -- including export.


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 9:22:19 pm

This is correct.

If all you need is a simple SD downrez to email to a client - you can export that out of a Proxy storyline just fine.

But if you are working with something like R3d or Alexa files, you need to swap the project to point at your Original media in order to get the highest quality exports.

Also, be aware that there's going to be a LIMITATION on the potential quality of any export which is limited by the original footage import you did.

Obviously, if you import old SD masters, it makes little difference if you tell X to do a 2k export - It will do it's best, (and sometimes thats surprisingly good) but it can't literally up-res or create more or better pixel data than was in the original file.

Understanding this "pools of referenced content" system - helps you understand why some inexperienced editors get into trouble when they, for example, import R3d files - then do an Optimized ProRes 422 transcode in X, then feel it's OK to dump the original big Red files to recover hard drive space! That's not an issue if you're ONLY going to export ProRes 422 masters, but doing so LIMITS X's ability to point back to the Original Media if you ask for truly high resolution exports. If you've tossed your 4k master files, you're just not going to get real 4k out when you share.

Hope that helps.

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Vesko Urukov
Re: FCPX imports and exports low quality
on May 6, 2016 at 6:44:28 pm



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